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>> please proceed, governor. >> i want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in benghazi an act of terror. >> get the transcript. >> he did in fact, sir. let me call it an act of terror. >> can you say that a little louder, candy? >> he did call it an act of terror. >> this morning, team romney saw the damage like ringside cutmen rushing in with water and ice his coaches tried to mitigate the wounds. >> it was a passing comment about acts of terror in general. it was not a claim that this was the result of a terrorist attack. >> this president has been totally inconsistent if not dishonest about what happened in libya. this is the united states of america. and for our state department to be saying one thing, the white house to be saying another, i mean it's like an episode of the keystone cops with these guys. >> just to clarify, who are the keystone cops here? if romney land is feeling bruised the tale of the tape
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last night was a t.k.o. the president won painting romney as an out of touch plutocrat, calling romney out for paying 14% in taxes, letting detroit go bankrupt and pushing a sketchy budget on the american public. he saved his blow for the most powerful of the night. >> i think the president's campaign has tried to characterize me as someone who's different than who i am. i care about 100% of the american people. >> when he said behind closed doors that 47% of the country considered themselves victims, who refused personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about. and i want to fight for them. that's what i've been doing for the last four years because if they succeed, i believe the country succeeds. >> refs on both sides agree that last night was a bruiser but the strongest most concise assessment came courtesy of the new york daily news. bam boom.
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round three, the last and time bought, is monday. sam stein, of "the huffington post," we have seen a lot of back and forth this morning from republicans who are trying to say that the president was, in fact, deceiving the american public on this comment regarding an act of terror in benghazi. do you think there are any legs to that? >> not really. i mean we can quibble with the actual language of whether it was an act of terrorism or terrorist act but when we step back from this debate and discussion what we're talking about is wording. i'm surprised a little bit that what should have been a pretty easy attack for mitt romney on the issue of libya and what happened at the consulate at benghazi was turned into a debate over whether or not a specific word was used and if you look at it more broadly, is it -- i'm still trying to figure out what the significance is about making sure that you actually call it an act of terrorism within a day. i mean if you think about it soberly wouldn't you want to wait a few days to figure out what transpired before making
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rash judgments and isn'ts the bigger weakness for obama the intelligence nurse that led up to the attack as opposed to how he handled it as a p.r. issue after the fact. a whole host of issues left on the table by romney and like you said, he did try to hit back and he whiffed and i think candy crowley did the proper thing which is say listen, it was in the transcript. that's what the moderator is supposed to do. call out fact when you see fact. and so that's going to be the sort of defining moment or section of this debate in the next days to come and what the response will be, look at the transcript again. did he say terrorism, act of terrorism. i don't see how that's a binning ish -- winning issue for the romney ticket. >> joining us is patrick. i want to go to you on this, rnc chair reince priebus has lots to say and called the president effectively part of a member of the keystone cops in terms of how they're handling this libya thing. sam makes a point is this just
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going to appear to be playing small ball when the question is much more significant one, and that the president sort of mastered it last night and romney whiffed it? >> i'll leave it to chairman priebus to continue to channel the most extreme paranoid conspiracy theorys from the extreme right wing. typical of had him and the leadership of their party. the president, obviously, had a dominant performance last night so the republicans are doing all they can to try to score some style points this morning by, again, trying to misrepresent exactly what the record was. everybody knows the president called the atrocity in benghazi an act of terror within 24 hours of the incident taking place. and last night mitt romney showed himself to be completely adrift on foreign affairs, just as he was wobbly on domestic policy as well. dominant, decisive performance by the president and mitt romney was held accountable for all of his previous distortions. >> mark, leibovich, you're a creature of the campaign trail.
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i want to pivot from libya to talk about the tax question. mitt romney had a -- there are so many bond mos that are dropped when mitt romney takes the stage but his explanation regarding the math on his tax plan i thought was really -- it goes in the annuals of romney greatest hits. let's play the sound when president obama is talking about tax cuts and mitt romney explaining his version of the arithmetic. let's hear what they said last night. >> if somebody came to you, governor, with a plan that said, here, i want to spend $7 trillion or $8 trillion, and we're going to pay for it but we can't tell you until maybe after the election how we're going to do it, you wouldn't have taken such a sketchy deal and neither should you. the american people. because the math doesn't add up. >> if somehow the numbers don't add up, would you be willing to look again at a 20% -- >> well of course they add up.
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i was -- i was someone who ran businesses for 25 years and balanced the budget. >> lebo, of course they add up, i was someone who ran businesses for 25 years. explain to me the logic there. >> well, i think the logic is this, i think the math question has really bedevilled mitt romney and also bedevilled paul ryan in the last few weeks and paul ryan is supposedly the better explainer of the two. it's a problematic narrative for them and frankly what it does is puts focus on the speculative nature of their plan and what doesn't, you know, and raising a lot of questions about it rather than raising questions about the obama record which is where they truly are vulnerable and a piece of the libya thing too, it actually takes focus off the obama economic record which is where the romney campaign was most comfortable and probably most effective in prosecuting this race. so, i also want to say, by the way, alex, i counted 20 boxing metaphors in your opener.
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and i'm just sort of in awe of you. i challenge everyone to not -- >> do you know -- >> see if we can make it to 30 by the end of the hour. >> do a different sport. >> although there would be whiff in the middle of it which is baseball. >> well, i looked -- i thought that would -- i didn't know that anybody would pick that up. i looked up boxing metaphors on-line to determine whether haymaker was fair use. >> you can read the political coverage. >> can i make a point about this tax answer. part of the reason romney has trouble answering it, we can say this objectively, the math doesn't add up. it adds up -- only in ways in which he refuses to do it. the studies he cites as supportive from martin feldstein says he has to eliminate deductions on income over $100,000. he's refused to do it but that's one way the math might add up. romney has refused to do it. he doesn't have the math. you know, it's sort sort of tired to say this but at some point he should be held
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accountab accountable. i have 25 years of history of balancing the books but doesn't explain the current plan. >> doesn't add up because there's no truth it. he doesn't have a plan. this isn't trigonometry this is fifth grade mathematics. it doesn't add up. i have to say in addition to his misrepresentations on budgets and taxes, if you're a woman watching that conversation last night, you have to be at best befudsled and at worst deeply concerned about what mitt romney had to say on the question of pay equity. talk about not adding up. when asked about the lilly ledbetter could only offer up a binder full of women that were apparently handed to him because his administration failed do a good job of recruiting effectively in the state. it's bizarre and sad for somebody who had been in business for 25 years in the state of ms chaets. massachusetts. >> what an admission. >> i want to bring in, speaking of women, i want to bring in the tireless and talented casey hunt on the road with romney and casey, you always have a very judicious and inciteful take on
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how romney land is dealing with this stuff. paul ryan trying to do some damage control. romney surrogates doing damage control. this is paul ryan on the "today" show talking about the tax question. let's take a listen. >> you don't go to congress and say here's all of our details, take it or leave it. you say this is my framework. >> where's the leadership. you're number's guy. >> right. and here's what i know, mat, if you say to congress take it or leave it my plan my way orts highway you don't get things done. >> casey, the numbers thing as mark leibovich points out is something that continues to bedevil romney land. i thought it was remarkable when talking about you pick any random number as if you could pick $25,000 or $17,000, doesn't matter. what is their feeling about their -- the performance last night? we know mitt romney made a relatively hasty exit. why haven't they figured out the numbers game yet? >> to start with the numbers, it's interesting that you raise it, actually, because right before the first debate, romney
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had actually told a local station he threw out that $17,000 number. it was the only number he threw out. wrote a story about it at the time. his aides came back and said the issue there was that a lot of these families if you are going to pull from all these buckets of tax deductions will had hit that $17,000 number quickly. in the debate after that story went out, be you saw romney change and say suddenly well, i'm just going to throw a random number out there, $25,000, $50,000, whatever. and i got notes in the wake of that pointing that out saying like here this number was actually random. it's because when they get into those specifics like that, people start to, you know, run the numbers on the back of a napkin and realize hey this is actually -- this actually could hurt me. so i think they have to be careful in how they talk about those numbers because it is so full of political pitfalls. on the broader question of how he did. they were pleased again with his performance. they've been really focused on the libya exchange that you
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showed earlier and really focused on what obama did or didn't say, whether or not the moderators were correct, and that really has drawn them away to a certain extent from all these broader economic questions that folks were -- that really voters are focused on and the area where romney actually tends to be strongest. >> patrick, i want to throw this last question to you in terms of we've talked a lot about what mitt romney did. let's talk about what the president proposed because there was, you know, there were a couple lines of thinking about what he had to do last night and one was be on the offense and hold mitt romney's feet to the fire but the other thing was there was a very clarion call on the part of both sides of the aisle that the president had to lay out some vision as far as where he wants to take the country and "the new york times" writing today in the editorial pages, what obama did not do was describe how a second term would be more successful than his first has been n particular show how he would cut through the thicket of republican opposition if re-elected. the contrast with the weak and
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failed ideas mr. romney have proposed could not have been clearer. some say the president didn't get a pass, but didn't go there in terms of the next four years. in terms of moving voters in the middle is that a problem? does he need to be more concrete. >> i would disagree with that and the description in "the new york times" editorial. the president was abundantly clear about the direction forward for middle-class americans. of course he contextualized this moment and talked about where we've come from and where we are now and what we need to do to make sure we grow our economy by 1 million manufacturing jobs by 2016, talked about exactly what we need to do in a delineated way to make sure we double our exports by 2014, talked about recruiting 100,000 math and science teachers to make sure our young people can continue to outcompete and out innovate anybody else on the planet and made clear what we need to do to take care of the young dream act students serving in our military, going to college, who
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mitt romney would deny a path to citizenship in this country. so on all of those metrics he laid out a vision and he certainly talked about what we need to do to make certain that women are full participants in this economy moving forward, while mitt romney ob few skated on his positions and this morning sam stein broke a story that ed gillespie admitted last night mitt romney was against the lilly ledbetter act. comparatively he did well against mitt romney's lack of vision and certainly just look at what the president, the tracks he laid out for how we build this economy from the middle out, there was a clear plan detailed last night. >> thanks for the plug. >> great scoop. >> sam stein, that muck raking journalist. patrick, is the dnc making t-shirts as we speak that say binders full of women? is that on sale? >> you know what, just obviously we can have a little bit of fun with mitt romney's words last night, but it's not a laughing
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matter. this is a serious issue. this is somebody who has the governor of the state by the time he left office in massachusetts, women made up only a quarter of all of the appointed positions in the state of massachusetts. despite the fact that he surrounded by -- >> yes, they were. >> all these great institutions of higher learning didn't seem to be able to find qualified women to fill slots. you would think he was talking about a governorship in 1952 as opposed to 2002. we're very serious about what we're communicating on this issue. >> they were very apparently thin binders, perhaps not even three ring binders but just maybe folders full of women. we're going to talk a lot about women and the women's issue and mitt romney perhaps being from the eisenhower era in the next block. thank you to patrick of the dnc. always great to see you. after the break, problems with w., a question about former president george w. bush throughs romney for a loop. we will ponder his head scratching answer involving venezuelans next on "now." ♪
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perhaps most notorious and least discussed republican of the 2012 election is former president george w. bush. someone mitt romney would prefer to keep in the recesses of the american imagination, unsurprisingly when asked about the elephant in the room last night, and how his policies differ from w.'s, romney was less than forthcoming. >> thank you. i appreciate that question. i just want to make sure that i think i was supposed to get that last answer but i want to point out that i don't believe -- >> i don't think so, candy. i want to make sure our time keepers are working here. >> after a brief detour romney finally answered the question by focusing on venezuela. >> president bush and i are
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different people and these are different times. and that's why my five-point plan is so different than what he would have done. i mean, for instance, we can now by virtue of new technology actually get all the energy we need in north america without having to go to the arabs or the venezuelans or anyone else. that wasn't true in his time. >> american reliance on venezuelan fossil fuels. the lasting legacy of the bush administration. given a turn to respond president obama chose to remind the public even the controversial texan of yesteryear would frown on the modern day mitt. >> there are things where governor romney is different from george bush. george bush didn't propose turning medicare into a voucher. george bush embraced comprehensive immigration reform. he didn't call for self-deportati self-deportation. george bush never suggested we eliminate funding for planned parenthood. >> joining us now is one of tinseltown's finest film
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director author and columnist john ridley. thank you for keeping me company here in los angeles. we needed a hollywood expert and glad you could join us my friend. >> thank you. >> and i want to talk about that w. question. because he's the guy that nobody has mentioned literally the elephant in the room, wasn't at the republican national convention and then all of a sudden mitt romney's getting a question about george w. bush, the man who shall not be named, and pivots to venezuela. what do you make of that? >> i was -- i have to be honest i was stunned just by that huge delay before answering the question. generally that delay is like i'm glad you asked that question it was a good question. when it becomes about in the green room were we having spinach, what was the dip we had there. it took him two different questions to ramp up to how do i handle the george bush question and then the difference being extraordinary differences. i mean things that really don't deal with policy, deal with the last eight years, and then obviously president obama stepping up and not just saying here's how you're the same, i thought it was kind of brilliant
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to say you know what, he is different, so far to the right of george bush, you don't want to see this guy in the white house. it was a very interesting exchange in a night of interesting exchanges. >> it was -- mark, john heilemann has a great discover story on bill clinton and one of the things that stuck out to me, he's talking about clinton getting ready to make his speech at the dnc and clinton decides to give sort of accolades, shower republican presidents with accolades before he winds up to say that look, president obama, i couldn't have done what president obama has done, no one could have and a way of sort ingrashating oneself to the gop or at least makes the assessment of the president's record that much more powerful. i felt like -- >> oops. >> okay. >> okay. sam stein, in terms of the george w. bush legacy, this is the guy as you know we discussed
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with john, he's the one that like the republican party has been so -- such a converted effort not to mention and yet, when it comes down to actual policies, mitt romney in some ways a continuation of the george w. bush legacy. is this something the democrats can ride through november 6th. >> your question was so good it left mark speechless there. >> i lost the audio there. i got it back. >> no just give credit to alex. such a good question. you know, bush has not -- as you noted in the beginning bush has really been sort of absent from the discussion and for large reasons for both candidates because mitt romney obviously doesn't want to have that linger over his candidacy and obama has said -- obama has tried to avoid the notion he's blaming his problems on his predecessor. last night's question was probably the first sustained time that i can remember in this campaign where it actually came into focus and i thought, you know, obama's answer was pretty -- saying the social policy stuff, bush is a moderate compared to romney was a
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contrast and let's be honest again here, there is a fundamental similarity in the economic philosophies between what mitt romney is trying to do and george bush did which is basically tax cuts. tax cuts that can generate economic growth under conservative philosophy and there's not much nuance there that i can recognize. i'm not an economist but i can't recognize. so to the extent that obama can say this is a continuation of the economic policies of bush, that is, you know, harmful. people, you know, people don't have, you know, they have long-term memories but this isn't that long term. they know what it was like four years ago, five years ago when things were falling apart and i think if that becomes something that we're talking about in the next week or two that is potentially harmful for the romney campaign. >> i also actually i would now that i'm no longer mute or maybe i am mute, i don't know -- >> welcome back. >> thanks, guys. it's good to be back. the -- i do think it's pretty deft of president obama and
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president clinton to invoke george w. bush. you're sutley playing the ex-president's club and saying we're a fraternity, he's a republican, we're democrats, we've been there, we had very unique sensibilities on this, and this guy over here, mitt romney, does not. i also think that look, i think the silence around george w. bush has been fairly glaring at this point and i think there is an element of almost truth telling to, you know, that you get credit for even bringing him up. i think that it was a bit -- i don't think mitt romney's answer was terribly harmful or unharmful last night but i think that president obama cued that up pretty well. i think he hit that pretty well afterwards and i think that was an effective use of, you know, maybe an underutilized resource. >> one place it could become more of an issue the next debate, just kwarly focused on foreign policy. i think that is the more lingering bush legacy than even the economic stuff. i wouldn't be surprised if we started -- if we got into
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another discussion about the bush legacy there. >> i felt like i'm happy that foreign policy has taken such a prominent role in this debate cycle but i do feel like there are a host of domestic be issues that deserve more sun light and one of them are issues pertaining to women. casey, i, you know, the binders full of women thing is the phrase heard around the world this morning but i actually thought the more telling sort of episode vis-a-vis women and mitt romney is when mitt romney started talking about his chief of staff and women and the work place. let's hear a little bit about what the president said as far as economic issues and fair pay and women's issues and then what mitt romney said as far as concerns about women's fiscal equality or pay equity. >> the first bill i signed was something called the lilly ledbetter bill because women are increasingly the bread winners in the family. this is not just a women's issue, this is a family ish.
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>> >> i recognize if you're going to have women in the work force sometimes they need to be more flexible. my chief of staff had two kids still in school. she said i can't be here until 7:00 or 8:00 at night. i need to be able to get home at 5:00 so i can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. >> casey, i always think that mitt romney has this weirdly dwight and may my eisenhower understanding of how it works between men and women. i thought the president's point women are increasingly becoming chief breadwinners and these aren't women's issues, they are family issues so enlightened in the 21st century and mitt romney talk about the few women that want to work about us have to get home to cook. >> romney was referring to beth myers the woman now, you know, ran his vice presidential search and who, you know, has really taken a huge role as one of the most possibly one of the most powerful women behind the scenes in politics today. and i've worked a lot with her. she's traveled on the trail with
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romney for a long time and i think like any women who are struggling to balance having a family with professional life, you know, flexibility is often appreciated. as for romney, himself, he's to a certain extent struggled with how to explain, you know, why it is that he really can sympathize and understand or be concerned about the issues that women care about. in the past, in the previous parts of the campaign, he referred to his own wife and said well, you know, ann romney is constantly telling me how women are concerned about these types of various issues and drew some criticism for that as well. >> can i point out that this is -- it's funny romney left this on the table but there's a whole host of literature about how tough a place the obama white house has been for women. you know, it's not been -- it's been sort of cast as a boy's club at the top and i'm surprised that romney didn't go back to that because it has been a vulnerability for obama basically from the campaign on. >> i don't know though.
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this is someone who supported the blunt amendment, john. you look at paul ryan's record, legislatively speaking romney is in such a hole on issues that women care about, whether aimed at he would be delighted to sign a constitutional ban on abortion or, you know, any host of other things that he's come out in support of and tried to walk back in recent weeks. >> can i talk about the metrics of this question. there's something, maybe it was me, the way it was -- his answer was framed that was really shocking to me. maybe it is just me. he started the question, started answering the question by saying i really learned about the problems of women in the work place when i became governor of massachusetts. now if my math is correct and it often isn't, he became governor of massachusetts when he was 56 years old. when he's 56 years old, when he's the leader of a state he walks in and discovers that there are problems with women in the work place and solving it, almost like fred macmurray in the apartment, does anybody know if jenny in the sten no pool wants to move up a little bit.
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maybe i'm oversensitive to it as a person of color, it took you that long to realize there are problems out there and had no idea to solve it. you solved it through affirmative action. >> which mitt romney certainly doesn't want to talk about. >> no. >> we have to leave it there but we have much -- so much to discuss. coming up the candidates get too close for comfort. who won the battle of stage craft. last night's director cut with james lipton inside the actor's studio that's just ahead. >> time for the your business entrepreneur of the week. former model and goldman sack analyst created shop tiques help local boutiques sell on-line. she know content sells and launched a companion on-line magazine as an ultimate source for what's in. for more watch your business sunday morning at 7:30 on msnbc.
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oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good.
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[ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. how much did you cut licenses and permits on federal land and federal waters? >> governor romney, here's what we did. there were a whole bunch of oil companies -- >> i had a question and the question was how much did you cut them by? you'll get your chance in a moment i'm still speaking. the answer is i don't believe people think that's the case -- >> that wasn't a question. >> that was a statement. he got the first question so i get the last question -- the last answer on that one. >> in the follow-up it doesn't quite work you that way. >> i'm used to being interrupted. >> hold on a second. >> mr. president, i'm still speaking. >> that was a spicy enbe che lad da, a sampling of the verbal take jouns at time the town hall felt less like a civilized
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discussion and more like a reality show reunion. ignoring time cues and getting too close for comfort. wait closer look at last night's debate host of bravo's "inside the actor's studio" james lipton. a pleasure to have you on the show as always. we -- i'm eager to hear your assessment of mitt romney's physicality, his behavior on stage last night? >> well, as you know, since we began speaking about this election campaign, i've been on a search for the real mitt romney. we all have because i think he's a rather mysterious person. as i've looked for him i've began to zero in on him recently. i mentioned it here. i said that he struck me as being a kind in the end a kind of boss, a boss that is not necessarily easy to deal with. then watching last night, i thought to myself, yeah, that is
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the real mitt romney. there he is. he's the kind of boss with whom you never feel comfortable or sure of yourself. and who can easily arouse anxiety in you. and then i thought to myself, well, if the people, if the public sees that, will they wonder at the prospect of four years of that kind of anxiety? he was not a -- there were good bosses and bad bosses. last night i thought he wasn't exactly a good boss. >> john, i want to turn to you. being a -- one with a film background here. you and i were talking before this block began and you were talking about you characterized him in similar terms almost, mitt romney as boss, last night chris mathews had a great line, the guy on the airplane who won't shut off his phone when the plane's trying to take off. your assessment of romney last night and also obama and his sort of physicality. >> the great thing about this debate format, you have movement. he wasn't just seated or behind
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the podium. president obama had a really nice confident but relaxed stroll. you would see it when he would get up, walk across the room, wasn't hesitant, wasn't too strong. he knew how to move as a person. truly greeting people and stepping up to them and looking them in the eye. mitt romney had this kind of odd baby step as he approached people and i sort of equate it to it's the boss at the company picnic and he's not sure how to approach the employee he never really met before and the guy over the shoulder is that bob from accounting, bob, nice to see you this is your lovely wife susan. and just that sense i need to approach and need to be strong but i don't know how to come to you person to person. boss to employee, that i can do. equals, not quite there. >> mark leibovich, your take on mitt romney last night. i mean i know we talked about the physicality here, but there was a moment where he said to the president you'll get your turn and i think a lot of people thought wait a second, you're talking to the president of the united states. >> yeah. i thought that was a pretty poignant moment and first of
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all, i think the boss point is really dead on. i think that was an image that i probably resonated with a lot of people. i mean if you look at people who have worked formitt romney over the years he gets pretty good reviews as a boss in the real world. i think last night he could occasionally maybe give off a bearing of maybe lumberred from office space that boss, remember that. it was a halting bearing to him. i think that talking to the penalty of the united states in that way and when things got heated was a little dicey for him, especially when candy crowley got into it and he also, you know, appeared to try to take over her which is sort of a two-fer. on one hand looks like you're being disrespectful to the president of the united states and on the other hand to the moderator and in this case the female moderator. i think that was probably a negative for governor romney. >> yeah. casey, that's something that joe scarborough pointed out in terms of his read of romney's performance that you cannot --
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you can't steam roll over a female moderator. you can't do it. setting aside the gender politics inherent in that dynamic, you know, it was uncomfortable watching him do that and sort of -- he sort of steam rolled jim lehrer but did not seem as acceptable in this venue with this moderator. >> well, it's possible that's just the job that candy was doing as well. i'm a little reluctant to engage in that idea that, you know, just because you have a woman moderating the debate we should all be a little bit, you know -- def ren shall. that seems contrary to sort of the whole point. i agree with the point that mark was making which is just that, you know, i think there was an audible gasp inside the room when romney sort of made that remark to obama, you'll have your turn in a moment. i think that was sort of striking for everyone in the room and also for those of us who were watching. >> actually can i -- sorry. go ahead. don't want to talk over the female host. >> this is a real juggling act
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i'm sorry to not be as gracious as i usually am. mr. lipton, i do want to talk to you about the tension between the two candidates because watching them on the stage last night, it is clear that there has been no love loss between these two men. there is -- they really seem to not like each other, more so than just regular adversaries, i wonder if you read the room the same way. >> i did. for me the most interesting moment of the whole evening was when he -- when obama suddenly turned toward his opponent and fixed him with a steely gaze and said what he was doing with respect to libya was offensive. his behavior reminded me of the great face-off in high noon. suddenly there they were, face to face, and if this was obama at his strongest and most determined and firmest and clearest, and perhaps angriest,
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then i saw somebody whom opponents should fear. he's a very, very strong person in the first debate he was a very weak person. this was 180 degrees from that. when he turned and looked at romney, i thought, my god, this is -- this would be very good in a movie. >> james, one last quick question before we go, the expression on the wives' face seemed to say it all in my humble opinion. ann romney did not look happy, i thought, at the end of that debate. michele obama was smiling broadly. >> for good reason, because i do believe that obama won the debate and remember that we said last time that the last two minutes of a play, for example, before intermission are the most important. the last question was so thoroughly mastered by the president that i think it ended on a very, very high and strong note for the obama team.
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and that includes, of course, his wife and i think that that's what you were seeing on the screen. and by the way, we got rid of that split screen last night, you'll notice. they were in the distance when their opponent was speaking. that was a blessing. >> let's say good-bye to the split screen forever, perhaps. who knows. we'll see, one more debate coming up and thank you to james lipton who we will have hopefully have back, we've invited him to come back for debate three for his take and read on behavorial dynamics in the presidential debate. >> president obama returns to the campaign trail with the wind in his sails. looking live at mount vernon, iowa, where he's expected to speak in a few moments. we will bring you his remarks live coming up next. [ male announcer ] if you can't take a sick day, here's a cold hard fact. alka-seltzer plus cold & cough may cause marked drowsiness. try dayquil cold & flu for non-drowsy relief of these symptoms. so you can save the day, not worry about falling asleep.
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president obama has chosen a small iowa college for his first campaign event following last night's debate expected to speak in a moment in cornell college
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in the town of mount vernon. sam, there's a lot of i think dusting off of the shoulders and fist pumping on the left after the president's debate performance last night but the question is where does he go from here and how much did last night help him in the polls? i wonder what you think in terms of the next couple days and, of course, leading into monday's debate? >> i mean, i think that obama team takes a pragmatic approach to this type of stuff and they look at the map and they realize if they hold all the stayses that john kerry held in 2004, all they have to do is keep ohio, keep wisconsin, and get either iowa or nevada and they have the electoral votes they need. and so, you know, i expect them fully to be basically camped out in wisconsin, ohio, maybe virginia and iowa and nevada. they've, you know, it's been noted that the president hasn't actually been back to north carolina since the dnc convention. i'm not saying they're writing it off but their priorities are clear and mathematical. the other thing that's of relevance to note here.
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doing a lot of college events. they get the idea they face an enthusiasm gap, they need to re-energize students, young people to two out and vote like they did in 2008 because they helped them get their numbers up. he a's been doing college events a the university of miami, ohio as well. not surprising he's still going there trying to get people enthusiastic. debate is a good pivot with respect to generating that type of enthusiasm. >> mark, do you think -- sam makes a good point about enthusiasm and the first lady was in north carolina yesterday saying just get five other people you know to go out and vote, that's how tight these margins are going to be. the enthusiasm question, does the debate -- does the debate and does his debate performance have an effect, a market effect, on voter enthusiasm. >> i think it definitely can. i think almost, you know, conversely, i think the first debate performance just in how freaked out it made so many democrats had a effect in some way because i think people were tuned in, they were scared for
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the first time and that was a very sort of stimulative emotion for them. i think, you know, clearly i think you're right, i mean or sam is right, the college tour is sort of back. i also think that creates visuals for them. as soon as that's on the evening news and you have tens of thousands of people in a crowd which they haven't mostly had this -- in this cycle, you do sort of reawaken a lot of the same enthusiasm for the home stretch last time. i think it has sort of, you know, multiplying effect. but i do think, you know, certainly a performance like last night, given that can be distilled to a few really provocative moments can really have an impact going forward and frankly it's a pretty short-term turnaround at this point because the next debate is about six days away, five days away, and, you know, then we're almost there. so, i think, you know, clearly people are tuned in now. i think the next two weeks are going to be probably as emotional as we've had this
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campaign. >> the highs and lows have sent me already into cryi ining jags laughing fits. don't know how i'm going to manage the last couple weeks. >> crying jags, wow. >> coming up final thoughts from our bicoastal panel when "now" rurnls. and then treats day after day... block the acid with prilosec otc and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
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thank you so mark, casey, sam and john who just woke up, he told me, three minutes ago, but far more lucid than i would be if i woke up three minutes ago. i'll see you back in new york tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific when joined by john, eric and rory kennedy. but before then, i will be on conan tonight on tbs right after the detroit tigers take to the field against the little team known as the new york yankees. until then, be sure to check out facebook.com/now with alex today for updates on all my hollywood adventures. "andrea mitchell reports" is next.
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good afternoon, andrea. >> have fun on conan. >> coming up here, the day after. we'll hear from both campaigns about their performances. also joining me the undecided voter who asked the equal pay question. has she now picked a candidate. and former republican chairman michael steele, former senate majority leader tom dashiell, chris cizilla, mark halperin and a lot more coming up next. "andrea mitchell reports" right here on msnbc. heme plays ] humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain.
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more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. it now on "andrea mitchell reports" blow by blow. president obama and governor romney get in the ring for their rematch. >> i don't think anyone really believes you're a person who's going to be pushing for oil and gas and coal. you'll get your chance in a moment. and the answer is i don't believe people think that's the case. it wasn't a question. >> okay. >> that was a statement. mr. president, have you looked at your pension? >> i have to say -- >> mr. president, have you looks at your pension. >> you know, i don't look at my pension. it's not as big as yours.
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it doesn't take as long. >> and the president stares down romney on libya. >> and the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether secretary of state, our u.n. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. that's not what we do. >> their wing men, the running mates, both declare victory. >> president obama was absolutely at the top of his game last night and i also think that he was able to clearly draw a picture between a future under obama and a future under romney. >> he clearly changes tactic. they said he would change his tactic but his answers didn't change. he didn't offer any new idea about how the next four years would be any different than the last four years. >> did they answer the questions? but the line that everyone is

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NOW With Alex Wagner
MSNBC October 17, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT

News/Business. Alex Wagner. Forces driving the day's stories. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY George Bush 7, Libya 7, George W. Bush 6, Casey 6, Paul Ryan 5, New York 5, Massachusetts 5, Benghazi 4, Sam Stein 4, Mitt Romney 4, Citi 3, Andrea Mitchell 3, Lilly Ledbetter 3, James Lipton 3, Venezuela 2, North Carolina 2, Msnbc 2, Us 2, United States 2, Wisconsin 2
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